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Setup of a laboratory to analyse heat pump performance

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - LAB2SHAPE (Setup of a laboratory to analyse heat pump performance)

Periodo di rendicontazione: 2021-01-18 al 2022-01-17

Buildings are responsible for 40% of the energy consumption and 36% of the CO2 emissions in the EU. Current residential heating systems worldwide have been primarily running on fossil fuels and most are still gas or oil based. However, with the latest regulations and agreements such as Building Energy Directive, Energy Efficiency Directive and the Green Deal, specific targets have been set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For the residential heating and cooling sector, that means the prioritization of energy efficiency and electrification and heat pumps are considered as the main solution to make a transition from fossil fuel boilers to sustainable heating systems. The share of heat pump sales in the market has been continuously increasing in the last years and is expected to triple by 2030. Therefore, it is believed that the need of quantifying the energetic performance of heat pumps in a reliable and reproducible way will become even more important. This is especially important for the society and end-users, since the energy label of a heat pump is the only indicator of its performance and its energy use. It allows consumers to make comparisons between different products and make a decision based on reliable performance indicators. In this project, it is aimed to explore the possibility to develop such a labaratory setup with cutting edge technology for evaluating the energetic performance of heat pumps, providing clients reliable third party testing, certificiation and advice and contribute to the development of related new norms and regulations.
During the project period a heat pump testing laboratory design is performed where the performance of;

- air to air heat pumps,
- air to water heat pumps,
- water (brine) to water (brine) heat pumps,
- water (brine) to air heat pumps and,
- domestic hot water heat pumps

can be determined in a reliable and reproducible way according to the following European Norms:

- EN 14511,
- EN 14825 and
- EN 16147.

Quality labels such as EHPA (European Heat Pump Association) and KEYMARK and their requirements were also investigated. The design effort has been limited with the performance testing of electrically driven residential heat pumps with a maximum thermal heating/cooling capacity of 20 kW. Within this context, the test facility is sized within the guideline of the mentioned European standards and considering different parameters such as the type of heat pumps, their capacity range, efficiency (COP/EER values at different test conditions), defrost mode etc.
The design includes a setup to test air to air heat pumps and this presents one of the innovations that is brought into this project. Based on our knowledge, there are no such test centers in the Netherlands and very few in Europe which can conduct this specific tests. Another innovation aspect is long term performance determination of heat pumps and performance determination under different climate options. According to the European Norms, the current performance test are conducted for only 3 climate regions and at certain temperature and humidity values at a very limited time due to cost constraints. For this reason, the real-life performance of heat pumps tend to shift from the presented performance data in their energy label. With the experimental data obtained from the designed laboratory in a reliable and reproducible way, validated simulation models will be developed and these will be used to provide clients valuable information regarding the performance of their products under all kinds of circumstances.

The heat pump market is growing very rapidly and heat pumps are expected to be the main heating/cooling solution in Europe by 2040. Therefore, the number of manufacturers and hence the number of products in the market is expected to show a similar increase. It is believed that the problems and hence questions related to the implementation of heat pumps will increase in the near future in line with these developments. We believe that a new heat pump laboratory will allow us to contribute to the solutions of such problems by creating reliable performance data and knowledge for manufacturers and end-users. It is also expected that having such a laboratory with cutting-edge technology will allow us to contribute to the development/revision of heat pump standards and regulations by taking part in national as well as European technical committees for standardization.
Heat Pump test setup schematic